I have been harassed, stalked both via email & online social media by staff members of a organization/education institution (but not an accredited school, as it's a company) in the last 6 months. The emails were directed at me as disparaging 'facts,' twisted around claims when the company was the one actually bullying and harassing me. I had attempted to file a restraining/anti-harassment order on 3 of its individuals when the judge wrote as a response that she didn't feel having a harassment case was appropriate, but that I should try the offenders in Civil court for Libel and Defamation.
So my question - what are the statue of limitations to take this organization to court? Would I be able to find a Libel/Slander/Personal injury lawyer to hire on a Contingency basis, and/or file this for a low-income situation? Per the judges' notes, I sense this may a good case correct? Would I be able to find a lawyer to work for me, even if I'm studying overseas?
Last, I want to file the harassment cases so these 3-4 individuals would leave me alone indefinitely - do I have a case for that, or should this really be settled for civil litigation? Thank you.
I believe the statute of limitations is two years (RCW 4.16.100), but an attorney practicing in Washington would be a more reliable source on this.
The major issue I see is a lack of damages. A case has to be economically viable. So, unless you have some provable damages you might have difficulty finding an attorney to take the case. Also, it may not make economic sense for you to sue unless you will be back in Washington when the litigation starts as you would likely need to be present in person when your deposition is taken.
Without seeing exactly what the judge wrote, it's tough to say if you have a good case. But, I wouldn't read too much into it. Judge only may have been trying to communicate that your issues are better addressed in a civil claim.
No harm in you contacting an attorney to discuss your options. Best of luck to you.
Disclaimer: This answer is based on the limited information provided in your questions. This answer does not constitute legal advice nor does it create an attorney/client relationship. You should seek advice from an attorney with whom you can discuss the entirety of the case and is familiar with the laws of your specific jurisdiction.
The statute of limitations for defamation in Washington is two (2) years. See Wash. Rev. Code sec. 4.16.100.
An important part to prove a libel/slander case is mental duress. This is a high bar. You must show that sought and are under treatment for stress or related injury.
Your best option is to quit responding to their messages, they will loss interest and go away.
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